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Article 11 Notes

Law Notes > European Human Rights Law Notes

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A more recent version of these Article 11 notes – written by Oxford students – is available here.

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Article 11: Freedom of Association

1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

2. No restrictions shall be placed on the exercise of these rights other than such as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. This Article shall not prevent the imposition of lawful restrictions on the exercise of these rights by members of the armed forces, of the police or of the administration of the State.

Assembly is closely related to Article 10 Ezelin v France: says closely related to Art 10. Several reasons why right to assemble so important to expression: Purposes of assembly:1. Inexpensive means of expression

2. Gains publicity & attention

3. Demonstrates strength of feeling

4. Symbolic value of location

Scope of assembly Rassemblement Jurassien Unite v Switzerland Key: Public & private meetings: Christians against Racism and Fascism v UK Key: Processions: Countryside Alliance v UK: Key: the Court considers that the primary or original purpose art.11 was and is to protect the right of peaceful demonstration and participation in the democratic process. In recognition of that primary purpose, the Court has been led to observe that "the right to freedom of assembly is a fundamental right in a democratic society and like the right to freedom of expression, is one of the foundations of such a society" and accordingly, to regard those who organise demonstrations as "actors in the democratic process". Nevertheless, it would, in the Court's view, be an unacceptably narrow interpretation of that article to confine it only to that kind of assembly, just as it would be too narrow an interpretation of art.10 to restrict it to expressions of opinion of a political character.

A. Access to private property Anderson v UK Key:State only under positive obligation to provide access to private land if you have absolutely nowhere else to assemble (very rare).

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